PEOPLE in Buxton and the High Peak are being urged to follow the example of two top sports stars and seek help if they are suffering from depression.
Health bosses from NHS Derbyshire County say one in five people will have depression at some point in their lives but as many as three in four cases are neither recognised nor treated – with 10,400 people estimated to have a common mental health disorder such as phobia or anxiety in the High Peak alone, the equivalent of nearly 130 people in every 1,000.
Now, as part of Depression Awareness Week, which runs until Saturday, the trust are encouraging people to open up about their illness and contact their GP for treatment.
The call follows England rugby star Duncan Bell’s announcement last week that he is to retire from the sport after struggling with depression for many years, and the publication of England cricketer Michael Yardy’s story about how the illness led him to withdraw from the 2011 England World Cup Cricket squad.
Tracy McGonagle, mental health planning manager for NHS Derbyshire County, said: “Some people still think that depression is just about feeling a little sad or down and not a genuine illness.
“They’re wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. It’s not a sign of weakness.
“Depression is different for everyone, but just like any other illness it can get better with the right help and support.
“There are many different ways of managing depression that can help people to lead a normal, healthy and active life.”
More information about mental illness can be found at www.time-to-change.org.uk or at www.mentalhealthrecovery.com.
GPs will also be able to give sufferers or concerned relatives details of local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services in the area.